oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Compliance with infant formula feeding by HIV-positive women one week after delivery in Khayelitsha, South Africa : original research



When mixed feeding occurs a few days following delivery, the risk of HIV transmission is likely high. The study aim was to assess infant feeding practices, one week following delivery of HIV-positive mothers who intended to formula feed their infants. A consecutive sample of 95 HIV-positive mother-infant pairs was recruited soon after delivery from a midwife obstetric unit in Khayelitsha. Face-to-face interviews were conducted one week after delivery at the clinic to determine the actual infant feeding practices. Sixty-four HIV-positive mother-infant pairs completed the study. The response rate was 67%. The median interview day was day 8. Sixty-two mothers (97%) (95% CI: 95% to 99%) exclusively formula fed their infants. Fifty (78%) (95% CI: 73% to 83%) mothers gave their infants formula milk only. Two mothers breast-fed their babies. Twelve (19%) gave their babies other fluids or food. Eleven gave water, glucose water or gripe water and one gave cereal or porridge. Breast engorgement occurred in 51 (80%) mothers. Only five (8%) mothers had received advice about breast engorgement from the facility health providers. Compliance with formula feeding of HIV-positive mothers one week following delivery is at an acceptable level. Levels of breast engorgement and lack of counselling on breast engorgement were high. Advice about non-pharmacological methods of managing breast engorgement must be given to women choosing to formula feed their babies. Mothers must be informed about the dangers of mixed feeding during the first week after delivery.


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